China offers its side of human rights debate before National Day

China is regularly criticised by human rights groups and the US government for its treatment of ethnic and religious minorities.
China is regularly criticised by human rights groups and the US government for its treatment of ethnic and religious minorities.PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - China issued a white paper arguing that it has improved the protection of human rights ahead of celebrations to commemorate 70 years of Communist Party rule, as activists criticise its treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang and police action against protesters in Hong Kong.

The white paper published by the State Council Information Office on Sunday (Sept 22) said Chinese people enjoy real democracy, according to Xinhua.

Titled "Seeking Happiness for People: 70 Years of Progress on Human Rights in China", the document said the nation has made regular contributions to the international cause of human rights, according to the news agency.

China is regularly criticised by human rights groups and the US government for its treatment of ethnic and religious minorities.

Its detention of as many as one million ethnic Uighurs is among several sources of tension with the US, and the nation's policies in the far western region of Xinjiang have prompted calls for sanctions from lawmakers, human rights advocates and religious groups.

Amnesty International this month said in a report that Hong Kong police beat pro-democracy protesters in custody and committed acts that amount to "torture", and warned that the situation could get worse ahead of protests planned to coincide with the Oct 1 anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.